The Yoga of Being a Shopkeeper: Lessons from Running Glow Bio
We all play many outer roles in this material world. Many of you know me as a writer, author, nutritionist, health chef, entrepreneur, creator of products (Probiotics+, Glowing Lean System, infrared sauna + others coming!), world traveler and yogi. But I also have another role to play: shopkeeper.
Our launch party! Some love from dear clients and friends
The idea for Glow Bio was actually born in New Orleans. I was down there working on the film 21 Jumpstreet as Channing Tatum’s nutritionist/chef, and my now husband and one of my partners at Glow came down for a visit. We went on one of those swamp tours to see the alligators, which was actually sort of weird and sad because they gave the alligators marshmallows to make them come near the boats, which our burly guide referred to as “swamp crack.”
“I can’t believe they give these wild animals that crap to eat!” I muttered outloud, and we all started talking about the unfortunate types of food so many people eat voluntarily, day in and day out.
Our now partner, who had experienced a big life change personally from Beauty Detox, brought up the idea of opening a shop, where the Glowing Green Smoothie (GGS) and my other recipes could be available publicly, to all. We all got excited and started talking about ideas. Where would it be? Should it be in New York, which was where I was based out of at the time, or Los Angeles, or even another city like Chicago, in the middle of the country? By the time we climbed out of the swamp a few hours later, Glow was a living entity, as an idea in our minds.
We decided on Los Angeles, and at first we called it Kimberly’s Glow. Every day presented us with a huge set of lessons. Two weeks before our planned opening we still had a huge hole in our floor, because there was a plumbing regulation issue or we had to change a pipe for some reason that wasn’t clear to me. Everything was a blank slate that needed to be filled in. What do we put where? Where do we get bottles from and what kind? Tremendous research had to be done for every detail.
With some of the Glow girls + Alfredo :)
I assumed glass bottles were the best to use, but then I realized it isn’t. Glass has a larger carbon footprint- it’s nine times heavier than plastic. So we settled on 25% post-consumer recycled PET #1 bottles. They are BPA-free, don’t leach chemicals, are also the most desired plastic for recycling. So there you go, major learning along the way. We also use compostable materials for all our food packaging, as well as our straws, cups, forks, spoons and so forth. I’m proud to say there is an exceedingly tiny amount of waste going out of Glow that is piling up in landfills.
Cleanse shipment time! They are overnighted to get there the next day.
But some of the biggest lessons for me had to do with our team. It was the first time for all of us handling a staff, and the daily and constant things that crop up when you’re dealing with people. It is really important to me that everyone that works at Glow is a kind and honest person. They are touching all the organic produce and foods, and I believe energy of that person goes into the foods itself to some extent. I want everyone to be friendly and helpful to every customer, and to explain the nutrition behind our menu items- each one that I created myself to be properly food combined, sprouted, soaked, enhanced with probiotics- with the same passion that I explain it! Our manuals are pretty extensive, and it’s a learning process to absorb all the information.
But yes, many mistakes were made along the way. People cycle often in and out of LA, and some of our staff that we loved ended up moving back to their hometowns. Some had to leave for long-term career aspirations that drove them to move to LA in the first place.
Smiley Diego !
Our first manager, who was a close friend of mine, had to leave suddenly for a family illness, and the shop went through a transition period for about six weeks last spring until we found our current manager Dan, who came on board and quickly got everything going in the right direction again.
I’ve had to learn serious lessons in non-attachment. I love to go behind the counter and talk to our team, to find out more about them and give them support. I know each of them and love them all as individuals.
I would get so upset at first when new employees said they were looking for a position for the long-term, then after extensively training them, would leave a short time later. Now I realize I can’t get attached. I still love them all, but I don’t expect anything personally from them, just their professionalism and doing their job the best they can. I bring my yoga practice very much into the shop and love but in a non-attached way now.
I’m thrilled to say that besides the major learning curves over the past year the shop has been open, we’re now expanding and thriving in every way. Our wonderful manager, Dan, keeps everything humming along.
We also have an incredible assistant manager Joanna, who is also our Cleanse Manager/Specialist. You’ve probably talked to her if you’ve ordered a cleanse. She’s been with us as a rock since the beginning, with a deep understanding of the philosophy. I consider her a direct extension of me, but she’s taken the information and learned so much and packages and explains things in her own way.
We recently launched a whole new food fridge chock full of recipes from The Beauty Detox Foods, including the Raw Taco Gorilla Wraps, Dharma’s Kale Salad, Raw Caesar Salad, the raw Muhammara (red pepper) Dip, Chia Seed Delight, Sprouted Quinoa Tabouli, and of course, Raw Truffles! It’s thrilling for me every time I see someone picking up an item of food or ordering the Glowing Green Smoothie. I just think to myself, “I know that person’s health is helped today, because they are drinking/eating that!”
Sonum, who makes our salads and foods, originally from Tibet, is a Zen yogi in his own right.
There is so much “faux health food” out there, and I’m proud to say that we don’t use processed, high-oil products like Earth Balance, Vegenaise, Daiya cheese or gluten-based products like seitan. These products are definitely okay for those transitioning to a more plant-based diet, and for some they are helpful transition foods, and I don’t fault anyone for using them in that way. But they also aren’t true health or beauty foods, and they aren’t things I’d want to serve to people every day. And of course we don’t use the cheap, high fructose sweetener of fructose!! I can’t have it on my conscious that we contributed to health issues or (or!) visible wrinkles in innocent people (in the Beauty Detox Solution I discuss how concentrated, high fructose products can potentially damage your collagen).
Here’s sweet Ariel, squeezing love into our raw sprouted almond milk!
I’m also thrilled to share that we just launched our online cleanse ordering. That was a huge technology process to figure out, just as we did with everything else, and with the hard work of our partner Mike we got it worked out! I designed a new 48-hour Red Carpet Slimdown and we have 1, 3 and 5 day cleanses available, at either Level 1 or 2.
I designed our cleanses to be a great way to reset and get on track for a healthier long-term lifestyle program, to maintain results. It’s not a crash diet, though you may lose weight during or afterwards. Each cleanse is strategically designed by me. You start and end with the fiber-filled Glowing Green Smoothie, to help maintain blood sugar levels and sweep out toxins, our cold-pressed juices are fortified with probiotics, to help boost your system for enhanced detox, and there are specific boosters along the way, like our Debloater, to purge out water weight.
And we’re 100% organic. That might sound like what evs, but I will say that there are so many in LA and beyond that are not. In fact, a big popup chain carrying just cold-pressed juices here in LA is not, and it is bewildering to me how people would spend the money and put such a large concentration of pesticides in their body. So wherever you may be, be sure to ask!
I am so grateful for Glow Bio, for the tremendous life lessons it has taught me and continues to teach me, and for being a space of love where I can drop in daily and meet readers and customers and chat. If you are in LA, please do come visit us! We are at 7473 Melrose, on the corner of Gardner and Melrose. And if you have any inkling to get back on track or boost your health and beauty, please do try one of our cleanses you can now order online, which can be shipped to your front door.
Thank you for sharing in this journey and reading this blog/story. I love to share my life lessons and hope it inspires you in your own life.